Weekly planning news from the central London boroughs

A weekly round up of the latest planning and property news from the central London boroughs


Camden New Journal reports that a proposed £541k cycle route up Haverstock Hill looks likely to go ahead later this year, despite objections from more than two-thirds of people living and working nearby. The scheme will see car paringspaces removed and replaced with cycle lanes and paid-for-parking will be created in side roads. Camden Council said its an effort to increase walking and cycling. In the consultation in February and march, 55% of the 1,000 responders rejected te proposal. Yet, the scheme is recommended for approval and the decision by transport chief councillor Adam Harrison will be made next week, on August 3.


Ham&High reports that hundreds of homes could be built at the foot of Archway Road and Highgate Hill after a landmark site was acquired by SevenCapital from housing association Peabody. Plans could also include student accommodation, private and community amenity space, as well as a park. Angus Michie, managing director at SevenCapital, said “The area, like much of London, is in need of new, high quality and affordable homes.”. The approved, the gross development value will total more than £200million.


London News Online reports that Lambeth Council has cancelled permission for its own housing company to demolish homes on an estate. The council said it would be cheaper to axe the project than battle families in court over the plans, as The planning application from February had nearly 400 objections and two comments. The project would have seen 12 homes demolished and replaced with 20 affordable flats and 12 for council rent. The plans formed part of the council’s planned redevelopment of Cressingham Gardens Estate by Brockwell Park, which would have seen 306 council homes demolished.


Property Week reports that a site in Bermondsey reach has come to market with resolution to grant planning permission for a scheme that has a development value of £135m. The site has resolution to grant planning permission for a 312-unit residential scheme in which 36% of the housing would be affordable. The scheme would also feature 4,833 sq ft of retail floorspace and 19,569 sq ft of Class B1 commercial floorspace. Jonathan Allen, residential development at CBRE who are appointed to look for a buyer, said: “Bermondsey Reach is in a prime position to capitalise on the surrounding area’s increasing popularity and capture a new wave of growth. We expect to see continued demand for well-designed schemes with good levels of amenity space as well as being situated close to transport links and local amenities.”

Architects Journal reports that Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) has been dropped from a controversial scheme in Bermondsey after the site’s new owner brought in a new team to help redesign the plans. Aviva Investors bought the site from Seller for £100 million earlier this year and it is looking to turn the two sites into a new office campus. It confirmed, however, that RPBW was no longer on board. The RPBW scheme which was submitted in March 2019 faced a groundswell of criticism from local residnets and objectors also include SAVE Britain’s Heritage, the Victorian Society and Historic England, who said the scheme would ‘damage the significance of the conservation area’. The council said it was now awaiting the developer’s revisions. Southwark Council’s planning officers had recommended approval of the scheme but a final decision was deferred to allow design changes.

Property Week reports that barings has snapped up a grade-A office building in the City of London from a German retail real estate fund managed by DWS for £130.5m. Capital House comprises 126,000 sq ft of office, retail and ancillary space over basement, lower-ground, ground and eight upper floors. Barings has said it would respoition the building into a “best-in-class office in the core of the City of London”. Plans include the refurbishment of three vacant office floors, enlarging and renewing the reception area to provide tenant amenity, installing additional showers and bike storage and overhauling central plan and machinery. The refurbishment of the sixth and eighth floors will focus on the existing terracing and provide high-quality internal and external space that will give enviable space in the heart of the City.

Southwark News reports that distraught residents have challenged Southwark Council to scrap its ‘infill’ housing policy and start again, telling last week’s full assembly meeting that their ‘traumatised’ communities have been ‘ignored for two years’. At the meeting, the Labour-run administration also rejected a call from the Liberal Democrats to put the scheme on hold and explore giving formal protections to communal land in estates across Southwark. The estate is due to have 97 new housing units built on its land, of which around a third, 32 in total, will be for private sale and 62 for social rent. Save Bells Gardens campaigner Amanda told councillors: “We need to maintain our communal areas for the sake of community cohesion and belonging. We need these green spaces that elderly residents and those with mobility issues can easily access.”

Construction Enquirer reports that the Dutch developer Edge has gained consent for a 27-storey ‘next generation’ green office building next to London Bridge Station. Edge London Bridge will be built at 60–68 St Thomas Street and will be part of the buildings around the Shard and the 250,000 sq ft building will incorporate a new public park with landscaping. It is claimed it will be London’s most sustainable high-rise office achieving. The new smart building will feature a high-volume underfloor ventilation system to deliver fresh air to the office floors, washing out pollutants from bottom to top. In addition to mechanical ventilation, the building has been designed with perimeter openings at each floor to allow further natural ventilation. A construction start is understood to be slated for Spring 2022.


Architects Journal reports that housing minister Christopher Pincher has granted planning approval for Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad’s controversial Holocaust Memorial in Westminster. The government-backed scheme has faced huge controversy since the winning design was revealed in 2017, principally over its location in the small park next to the Houses of Parliament. Pitcher said harm would be caused to the setting of heritage assets and there would be harm to trees. However the minister said this was outweighed by ‘a series of very significant public benefits’, including delivery of a national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and genocide in line with the wishes of the Holocaust Memorial Commission.

Westminster City Council suspends booking to £2m installation  of a 25m-tall artificial hill that looms over Central London, just after its first opening day. The council admits that “elements of the Marble Arch Mound are not yet ready for visitors” after online commentators quick to suggest that the real thing does not live up to the marketing brochure. The outdoor attraction, designed by the renowned Netherlands-based architects MVRDV and located beside the famous London landmark, comes as part of the council’s wider vision for a “greener smarter future together”. One visitor said he enjoyed his visit on Monday, but perhaps not as its designers intended. He tweeted: “More as you might enjoy a bad statue of Christiano Ronaldo, or a car park Santa’s Grotto, with dogs pretending to be reindeer, than as a dazzling spectacle,”.

Property Week reports that asset values at Capital & Counties (Capco) dipped during the first half of 2021 as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to bite. Net tangible assets (NTA) for the six months to the end of June came in at £1.7bn, compared to £1.8bn at the end of 2020. Despite the fall in NTA, the Covent Garden owner reinstated the dividend for investors, rewarding them with 0.5p a share for the interim period. However, Capco has increased rental income to £21m, from £18.2m during the same period last year.

Property Week reports that Great Portland Estates (GPE) has launched a new retail strategy that will focus on using collaborations with artists and creatives to reinvest retail spaces. In a bid to improve football, GPE is outing an art installation in the windows of its retail space at 95 New Bond Street. The instillation serves as one example of GPE’s approach to the future of its retail property. Marc Wilder, leasing director at GPE, said: “As a landlord we have a responsibility to support the communities in which we work and so we are committed to looking for more creative ways and finding uses for our retail space that creates genuine value.”

Property Week reports that Soho Estates is on the hunt of a leisure occupier for a 200,000 sq ft, bespoke development in London’s Leicester Square. The £100, redevelopment of 17-21 Leicester Square and 13-17 Bear Street has been discussed with the local planning authority will create up to 200,000 sq ft of space over multiple levels, after it receives vacant possession of the site in 2021 from the office occupiers above. Soho Estates director Philip Thompson said “As with our Soho developments at Greek Street and Dean Street with Soho House and Warner Bros at Illona Rose House, we are looking to secure a long-term partnership with a global brand and build a bespoke new property to suit their needs, which we hope will become synonymous with the area.”

Construction Enquirer reports that London based architecture studio SPPARC has received planning consent for Greycoat Stores, a former warehouse of The Army & Navy Co-operative Society Ltd. If approved, the a 78,000 sq ft destination will see the building repositioned to deliver flexible office space spread across eight floors including 5,000 sq ft of retail and leisure facilities on the ground and lower ground floors, and a 4,000 sq ft restaurant. Construction is expected to start in September 2021 with completion anticipated in the first half of 2023.

Estates Gazette reports that Unite Student, the UK’s largest provider for student accommodation has submitted a planning application for an 843-bed block, between the Westway flyover and the Grand Union Canal at Baltic Wharf, Paddington, W2. Unite group property director Nick Hayes said: “we are aiming for this to be our first-ever building that is fully net-zero-carbon. The development will reuse rainwater, maximise natural light, will be fully insulated and will use 100% renewable sources of heat and electricity.”. Just over a third of the rooms – 295 of the 843 – will be offered at affordable rents.

Property Week reports that Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and Stow Capital Partners have partnered with TX (Tenant Experience) on a new 27,000 sq ft office development in Mayfair, London. The five-storey redevelopment of the upper floors of 20 Balderton Street will be completed this August and will include the addition of private and communal roof terraces as well as new lifts. The lower floors house a 42,169 sq ft flagship Adidas store opening on to Oxford Street. Potential occupiers will be able to visualise and design an office space in their first viewing, using a combination of real space experience, real-time design technology and dedicated design support.